Stress and its related symptoms have a negative impact on health. It can cause behavioral changes, aches and pains, headaches, and insomnia, among other issues. It’s imperative that you keep your stress levels in check. More smartwatch and fitness tracker makers, like Samsung, have baked stress monitoring features into their devices. But how do you use the Samsung Galaxy Watch to measure stress? Find out below.

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The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 use a combination of heart rate and heart rate variability data to gauge a user's stress levels. You can initiate a manual reading by opening Samsung Health, tapping Stress, and selecting Measure.

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How does the Samsung Galaxy Watch measure stress?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro D Buckle

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Like Garmin, Samsung uses a combination of heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) to determine stress levels. HRV is the measurement of the interval between beats. According to Harvard’s Health Blog, our autonomic nervous system (ANS) is responsible for adjusting our heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. This part of the nervous system also governs our flight/fight response (high stress) and relaxed states (low stress).

So what does this actually mean?

Simply put, if your HRV is low — a slight variation between heartbeats — it’s a possible indicator that your ANS could be in a higher stress mode. If your HRV is high and the intervals between heartbeats are more varied, you’re likely in a more relaxed state.

Although it’s among the more common methods, not all smartwatches use HRV to measure stress. The Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Sense 2 use EDA, or electrodermal activity sensors, to gauge body responses. These sensors sample the skin’s electrical conductivity variation due to sweat.

How to take a stress reading on the Galaxy Watch 5 and 4

You can initiate manual stress readings on the Galaxy Watch 5 or Galaxy Watch 4 by following the steps below.

  • Open Samsung Health on your watch.
  • Scroll down to the Stress section and tap on it.
  • Tap Measure to initiate a reading.

The watch must remain snug on your wrist while it takes the reading. You’ll see what appears to be a graph measuring your heart’s rhythm on the screen. Once the reading is complete, the watch will show you how stressed you are on a line graph. Green indicates low stress, while red indicates high stress. The Galaxy Watch will also display your average with a dotted line on the graph.

You can also activate automatic stress readings on the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4. If you’re particularly worried about your stress levels or find the manual measurements too cumbersome, we recommend switching this feature on.

  • Open Samsung Health on your watch.
  • Scroll down to Settings and tap on it.
  • Under the Measurement section, tap Stress.
  • Toggle on Measure continuously.

FAQs

Based on our own experiences, the Galaxy Watch series’ stress measurements aren’t completely accurate. Still, it’s important to note that smartwatches are not medical devices. What is useful is when your smartwatch can monitor stress trends over time, bring potential issues and triggers to attention, and encourage behaviors that quell stress. The Galaxy Watch line helps you do all of these.

Stress can be destructive. According to the American Psychological Association, It can affect almost all facets of the body, from the muscles and our skeletons to our respiratory, nervous, and reproductive systems.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and 4 have a nifty breathing exercises feature that encourages you to take a few deep breaths after recording a stress measurement.

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